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Janis Mattox: Bios

"Solombra" Performers - Katia Escalera, Matthew Edwards, Stephen Harrison, Susan Freier

KATIA ESCALERA, LYRIC SOPRANO "has it all: voice, projection, diction, looks, presence." A native of Cochabamba, Bolivia, Katia has sung internationally and was recently awarded Outstanding and Excellent Bolivian Professional. Her vocal versatility has allowed her to perform a variety of repertoire including opera, oratorio, recital and chamber music. Katia and the Baroque ensemble Florilegium recently recorded the newly discovered Bolivian Baroque Music of the Jesuit Missions in the Bolivian Amazon with Channel Classics. Her awards include first place in both the Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition and the Concerto Competition of the Aspen Summer Music Festival, and most recently, finalist in the New Lyric Voices Competition in Teatro Colon, Argentina.

MATTHEW EDWARDS, PIANO: Admired by audiences for his probing interpretations of standard and contemporary repertoire, Mathew Edwards has enjoyed a growing reputation as solo recitalist and chamber musician. A San Franscisco Bay Area native, Edwards has appeared as soloist with the Contra Costa, Solano, and Tassajara Symphonies as well as Berkeley’s Bella Musica Orchestra and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. He regularly performs contemporary music and has worked with several composers on the presentation and recording of new compositions. Edwards is featured with violinist Kees Hülsmann in a recent release of the music of Peter Scott Lewis (Atlantic Crossing, Lapis Island). He has premiered new works for piano by Frank La Roca, Jose Halac, Vivian Fung and Julian White, whose solo piano works he released on CD in 2003. Mr. Edwards is pianist for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.

STEPHEN HARRISON, CELLO: A founding member of the Ives String Quartet and a member of the Stanford University faculty since 1983, Harrison is a graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University where he received the Award for Distinction in Graduate Performance. Former principal cellist of the Opera Company of Boston, the New England Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco, he has performed on NPR, the BBC and on both the German and the Netherlands State Radio. As solo cellist of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players he has toured internationally and recorded on the Delos, CRI, New Albion and Newport Classics labels. Mr. Harrison has been on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival and is currently an artist-faculty member of the Rocky Ridge Music Center.

SUSAN FREIER, VIOLIN: After her early years as concertmaster of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, Susan Freier attended Stanford University as a Ford Scholar and went on to pursue an advanced degree at the Eastman School of Music where she worked with Zvi Zeitlin and Sylvia Rosenberg. While at Eastman, Ms. Freier co-founded the Chester String Quartet, which won the Cleveland Quartet Competition, as well as the Evian, Munich International, Portsmouth (England) and Chicago Discovery competitions. In 1989, Susan returned to her native Bay Area to join the Stanford University faculty and the Stanford String Quartet. A founding member of the Ives String Quartet, Freier's recordings are available on the Newport Classics, Stolat, Pantheon, Music and Arts, Laurel, and CRI labels.

Janis Mattox, composer

Janis Mattox, composer and pianist, is a native of Minnesota and graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA) and Northwestern University (MA) in Evanston, Illinois. She began creating multi-media works merging live performance, dance, film, and interactive digital music technologies at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics in the early 80’s.

Her music-drama "Shaman" (1984) became the subject of a feature article in Smithsonian Magazine by Alan Rich. She was co-producer with Loren Rush and Elliot Mazer of "The Digital Domain" (1984-Elektra), a best selling classical CD which became an audio standard in the industry. Her video ballet "Book of Shadows" (1992) received over a dozen first-place awards and over fifty international screenings. Her most recent work is "Solombra" (SunShadow) - a song-cycle based on Brazilian poetry which premiered in 2005.

Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, four NEA fellowships and several grants from the Ross McKee Foundation for her "Music for Kids by Kids" music education project (see Links page). Mattox is co-developer with Loren Rush of The Enhanced Piano in Just Intonation and GoodSound Virtual Acoustics - music technologies featured on "Solombra" (see Technologies page).